Two decades ago, a report claimed that roughly 98,000 people in Pennsylvania and throughout the country die annually because of medical errors. A more recent study has found that the true death toll may be more than twice as high. That recent study also found that about 5% of patients in the United States are put in harm’s way unnecessarily. Of those patients, about 12% will acquire a permanent disability or die because of a preventable mistake.
While modern technology has given doctors and others access to more information than in previous generations, it has led to several problems of its own. For instance, doctors have to spend more time in front of a screen in an effort to analyze the data that they have received. This has resulted in increased levels of physician burnout. Medical professionals who have experienced symptoms of burnout are also more likely to report making a diagnostic or other type of error.
However, advances in artificial technology may make it possible to accurately analyze images that doctors and others take. Machine learning tools may also make it easier to detect errors that medical professionals might have made before it results in harm to a patient. As with any type of technology, patient safety and privacy issues will need to be worked out to ensure that artificial intelligence can be used to its fullest potential.
Individuals may experience significant emotional or physical anguish as a result of a medical error. If a doctor, surgeon or other professional acted in a negligent manner, it may be possible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. An attorney may help a person show that a medical professional’s negligence caused an injury to occur. If successful, an injured patient may be entitled to various forms of compensation.